There’s a picture on Lindsay Wheeler’s bedside of her nan in her nursing uniform, holding a baby.
It was something Lindsay always wanted to replicate and thanks to her career as a children’s nurse she was able to.
Now manager of Padua Ward at the William Harvey Hospital, Lindsay is proud to have followed in her relative’s footsteps.
She said: “I grew up listening to stories of my nan nursing, and I always knew I wanted to be a nurse.
“My nan died when I was at school so she never got to see me realise that ambition, but I cherish that photo and I’m so glad I was able to put mine next to it.”
Lindsay started her training straight from school and commuted to London for the first part of her career, before joining East Kent Hospitals.
She said: “I was glad to make the move for a better work-life balance.
“I have three young children and when I worked in London I hardly saw them. Now I can see them every day.
“I came to Padua for an informal visit before I got the job and I liked how it felt and how open and honest people were about their shortcomings and what they were doing about it.
“I could feel how very passionate they were and I love working alongside them and supporting them.”
People often assume children’s nursing is tough, but according to Lindsay the opposite is actually true.
She said: “Looking after children is so much easier than adults and it is so much fun.
“The challenge is to get them to do the things they need to do to get better, like sit still or take medicine, and that’s what keeps it interesting.
“Children get sick very quickly but they also turn a corner and get better much more quickly. Adults come to hospital and stay in bed until they are told they can go home, but kids are generally out and bouncing around causing havoc.”
And the children are not the only consideration – children’s nursing involves looking after families too.
Lindsay said: “We all have an affinity with children, that’s why we do what we do.
“But the job is bigger than just the child. Since becoming a parent I have an affinity with how the families must be feeling, and when I experienced the first death here I hugged my kids a bit tighter when I got home.
“We all deal with the sad days differently but we support each other and that’s how we get through it.”